Robert Whittaker lost his middleweight title in 2019 after losing to Adesanya and has had a good run of wins since. Now he will have another chance for revenge, and he just mentioned the problem that cost him the most in the first match.
“”Other opponents have tried (to get in my head like Adesanya did),” Whittaker told MMA Junkie. “I think it was a whole host of different things that got into my own head, and there was a lot of things on my end – it’s the way I handled them and the way I took them that made it worse.
“I think (Adesanya) even mentioned it – that my ego was something that affected me." "As much as I don’t want to acknowledge my opponent for insight, my ego probably was a big thing, was a big part of why my head space wasn’t where it should’ve been for that fight – why I was letting the debate between Australia and New Zealand get to me, why I was letting all these little things get to me.
It showed." "The results of that showed in the way I was behaving, in the way I put the fight together and the way I was fighting in the moment. I’ve acknowledged all of that and you can see obviously I’ve come to terms with all of that and I’m a different fighter now than I was then”.
The defeat against Israel Adesanya changed his way of thinking, and since then he has sought to improve his qualities and understand what his mistakes are. "The only time I feel as an athlete you can correct yourself, you can do better, you can get better, is when you acknowledge your mistakes,” Whittaker said.
“That’s what I’ve been doing since that first loss (to Adesanya). And every fight since that loss, I’ve been putting things together, acknowledging what I could do better, what I did wrong, what I could change, and it’s all led me to here.
I’m very excited to get in there and put my skills to the test again”.
Robert Whittaker about his approach
Apart from EGO, Whittaker did not approach the first match against Adesanya in the right way, but it will be a great lesson for him in a rematch “Getting hit in the face – definitely that one (was my biggest mistake),” Whittaker said.
“(But) probably my recklessness – I was recklessly charging in. " "I was falling into every one of his baits, every one of his traps, and just stubbornly trying to press forward, trying to press the attack, (and) rip his head off.
That’s what was going through my head, and it didn’t work. It didn’t work." "That’s not how I usually fight. You don’t see me fight like that in a lot of my other fights, forever. “I have addressed it.
I’ve reflected on it, and we’re going to try to get in there and do something different this next time”. Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya will surely prepare a spectacle for us this time as well